Types of Awards
Federal education grants are usually awarded in grants or loans. The grant is typically known as the Pell Grant and students does not need to pay it back. The only exception would be early semester withdrawal.
The Pell grant is not the only money given to students that does not have to be paid back. Another award that is often presented to people who need money to pay for school is the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant. The TEACH grant is yet another.
Besides federal education grants there also are private grants awarded. They are provided by a variety of foundations and organizations.
One of the most popular ones is the National SMART grant. There are many other institutional grants that are awarded by private and public schools. Communities may also award money to students.
A loan on the other hand would be paid back in time. Usually there is a grace period for both subsidized and unsubsidized student loans that are offered by the government.
If you are awarded a subsidized loan the interest is paid by the federal government when payments are deferred. The unsubsidized loan is one of which the student is required to pay back interest.
Today there is a lot of changes being made today in the types of loans that are offered as well as in the way they are dispersed. In any case, there is a huge emphasis today being placed on making sure the money is used for school purposes only.
The amount of money received by students who receive federal education grants and loans varies. For instance, a person who receives a National SMART Grant usually is awarded up to $4,000 during the third and fourth year of undergraduate study.
A person who receives Pell Grant aid as of this year (2010 to 2011) is awarded $5,550. The exact amount you receive depends upon a variety of factors such as costs to attend school and the amount of time you spend in school.
Other dollar amounts for subsidized and unsubsidized federal education grants as well as loans are presented at the FAFSA website. You may be able to find this information at local university and college websites, or local school financial aid offices.